"Raymonda" tag
Sarah Lamb in Raymonda Act III.© Foteini Christofilopoulou, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Concerto, Enigma Variations, Raymonda Act III – London

★★★★✰   It is all too easy to assume that the first triple bill of the Royal Ballet’s autumn season celebrates its creative heritage from the 1960s. In fact, two of the ballets were made for other companies…

Sara Mearns and Daniel Ulbricht in George Balanchine’s Variations Pour Une Porte et Un Soupir.© Erin Baiano. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – Balanchine + Wheeldon bill & Jewels – New York

★★★★✰   It makes a noticeable difference when Litton, music director of the company, is in the pit; the orchestra has presence and sings, providing a convincing counterpart for the dancing.

The Dancing Under The Southern Skies book cover, featuring Leanne Benjamin, in a photo © Jason Bell.© Australian Scholarly Publishing. (Click image for larger version)

Book – Dancing Under The Southern Skies: A History of Ballet in Australia – by Valerie Lawson

Although Valerie Lawson’s context is wide-ranging, she brings individuals into focus with personal details, shining a spotlight onto their roles in Australian dance history. Lavishly illustrated with photographs from Australian archives, her book gives vivid life to long-gone personalities.

Russian Ballet Icons Gala 2019 Gala group photo.© Jack Devant. (Click image for larger version)

Russian Ballet Icons Gala 2019 – London

★★★✰✰   The annual Ballet Icons gala, now in its 14th year, aims to promote Russian culture while providing a Sunday evening’s entertainment for Russians in London and ballet-lovers…

Joshua Hariette and Monique Jonas in Brahms Hungarian.© Chris Nash. (Click image for larger version)

Richard Alston Dance Company – Detour, Quartermark, Proverb, Brahms Hungarian – London

★★★★✰ Alston’s choreography is formal in that it has structure, style and steps, instead of resorting to running in circles. Its partnering etiquette is courteous rather than abusive.

Rambert2: Salome Pressac in Killer Pig.© Foteini Christofilopoulou. (Click image for larger version)

Sadler’s Wells Sampled, 2019 – London

★★★✰✰   Once a year Sadler’s Wells puts on Sampled, a pick and mix of the types of dance you might see at the venue. The front stalls seats are taken out, and standing in that area is only a fiver, with cheap tickets in general.

Raffaele Morra.© Zoran Jelenic. (Click image for larger version)

Raffaele Morra – Ballet Master and Rehearsal Director, Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo

Next month – September – The Trocks open their 2018 UK tour which runs through to November and covers many towns and cities across the land. A good primer on all things Trockadero as Diane Parkes speaks to Raffaele Morra, whose been with the company these last 17 years…

Benjamin Ella and Isabella Gasparini in Crystal Pite’s Flight Pattern.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Memorable Performances of 2017 – London

Head and shoulders above other new work this year was Crystal Pite’s Flight Pattern for the Royal Ballet…

J'aime Crandall in Raymonda.© Henrik Stenberg. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Danish Ballet – Raymonda – Copenhagen

★★★✰✰   All up, I think this production demonstrated the strengths and weaknesses of “Raymonda” as a ballet. It certainly is a fabulous looking (and listening) calling card which might tour well…

Paris Opera Ballet in Emeralds.© Agathe Poupeney. (Click image for larger version)Jewels, choreography by George Balanchine, ©The George Balanchine Trust.

Paris Opera Ballet, New York City Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet – Jewels – New York, Lincoln Center Festival

★★★★✰   It’s not often that one gets to see three such companies side by side, or to experience a work as familiar as Jewels with new eyes…

Zaloa Fabbrini and Alessio Passaquindici in Roland Petit's L'Arlésienne.© Dominique Jaussein. (Click image for larger version)

Ballet Nice Mediterranee – Grand Pas Classique from Raymonda, Gnawa, L’Arlesienne – Nice

★★★✰✰   The most interesting item of the programme was definitely the revival of Roland Petit’s L’Arlésienne, created in 1974 when he was director of the National Ballet of Marseille.

Olga Smirnova amd Semyon Chudin in The Sleeping Beauty.© Damir Yusupov. (Click image for larger version)

Bolshoi Ballet – The Sleeping Beauty – Moscow

★★★✰✰   Olga Smirnova danced the role of Aurora. Smirnova is a dancer with impressive physical gifts: beautiful proportions, a long elegant line, a supple back and expressive arms…

Maya Plisetskaya.© Ensemble Productions. (Click image for larger version)

Ave Maya Gala in Memory of Maya Plisetskaya – London

★★★✰✰ Every gala needs a revelation, and this one was provided by Sergio Bernal, a Spanish dancer who dominated the stage in an imperious farruca solo from Antonio’s flamenco version of The Three Cornered Hat…

Oxana Skorik in Raymonda.© Valentin Baranovsky. (Click image for larger version)

Mariinsky Ballet – Raymonda – Washington

The Mariinsky Ballet brought Raymonda to Washington where Oksana Khadarina saw the opening night and gave it ★★★. A night later the performance got ★★★★ – different ballerinas, different result…

Sylvie Guillem in Akram Khan’s technê.© Bill Cooper. (Click image for larger version)

Sylvie Guillem – Life in Progress – New York

More than one dancer has been dubbed a “punk ballerina” but no one deserves it more than Sylvie Guillem, who has ruffled feathers at the world’s best companies, and at 50 years old is still on top.

Viktoria Tereshkina in Raymonda.© Natasha Razina. (Click image for larger version)

Mariinsky Ballet – Raymonda – Costa Mesa

The Mariinsky Ballet are currently touring California and Claudia Bauer took the opportunity to see the rarely spied Raymonda. Viktoria Tereshkina and Vladimir Shklyarov were the leads…

Royal Ballet School in Jiri Kylian's Sechs Tanze.© Johan Persson. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet School – Annual Main Stage Performance 2015 – London

I thought this year’s Royal Ballet School (RBS) performance on the main Royal Opera House stage was pretty damn’ good.

Justin Peck and Sterling Hyltin in The Cage.© Paul Kolnik. (Click image for larger version)

New York City Ballet – All Bach and Hear the Dance: Russia bills – New York

More from the NYCB Winter Season with Marina Harss reviewing 2 bills made up of 6 works: Concerto Barocco, The Goldberg Variations, Symphonic Dances, The Cage, Andantino and Cortege Hongrois…

Nicolas Le Riche farewell - final curtain calls.© Sébastien Mathé / Opéra national de Paris. (Click image for larger version)

Paris Opera Ballet – Nicolas Le Riche Farwell Gala – Paris

Only the official retirement age of 42 requires him to leave the company, alas, though he may be invited back as a guest.

Michael Cook and Natalia Magnicaballi in Duo Concertant.© Linda Spillers. (Click image for larger version)

Suzanne Farrell Ballet – Pas de Dix, Duo Concertant, Tempo di Valse, Agon – Washington

…offered a perfect Balanchine sampler, bringing together an assortment of ballets, full of unexpected juxtapositions, from very different periods of the choreographer’s long career.

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